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An ice cream sundae with all sorts of colorful toppings.
Don’t miss halo halo, with a scoop of purplish ube ice cream, this version from Philippine Bread House.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

15 Fantastic Filipino Restaurants Around NYC

Epic family-style feasts, a casual sisig spot, and more places for a taste of the Philippines in NYC and New Jersey

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Don’t miss halo halo, with a scoop of purplish ube ice cream, this version from Philippine Bread House.
| Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

The cuisine of the Philippines brims with distinctive sweet, sour, and meaty flavors, displaying Spanish, Chinese, American, Dutch, and aboriginal Malay influences that date back over five centuries, making for one of the world’s greatest melting pot of cuisines. There’s pork galore, fermented fish or shrimp paste dubbed bagoong, seafood in sinigang (tart tamarind-flavored soup), and smoky grilled fish and meat. At most places, one can find sisig, a dish incorporating myriad pig parts into one dish, with lots of alternate versions, like milkfish, tofu, or chicken. Another standard is halo-halo, a whimsical shaved ice dessert layered with jackfruit, evaporated milk, coconut gel, rice flakes, and coconut shreds, topped with ice cream flavored with the purple yam called ube.

In NYC, the number of Filipino restaurants is steadily growing, as the cuisine breaks out of its historical neighborhoods. One of those neighborhoods is a five-block stretch of Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside, which some dub “Little Manila.” And while Jersey City has a concentration of Filipino restaurants and bakeries in two distinct regions, the East Village has a number of establishments, too. Here are some of the best Filipino spots around town.

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Bilao, meaning “basket” in Tagalog, was one of those miracle COVID-19 restaurants that was born in the midst of the pandemic. The menu consists of greatest hits of the cuisine via chef Boji Asuncion, with breakfast, lunch, and dinner offered. Favorites included a fish congee called goto, kare kare (an oxtail stew thickened with peanut butter and bobbing with green beans), and a sizzling sisig incorporating hog ear, jowls, and liver.

A black metal platter with minced pork parts and skin, plus a raw egg cracked on top.
Sizzling sisig at Bilao.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Tradisyon

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Until the 1980s, the Port Authority and surrounding vicinity was a haven for small Philippine turo-turo (“point-point”) joints, or steam table cafes. So the location of Tradisyon in Hell’s Kitchen seems perfect. It presents Filipino food in fast-casual bowls via chefs Anton Dayrit and Bianca Vicente (the owner is Joey Chanco). Recommended dishes include a pork adobo with a boiled egg, and a vegetarian version of laing — taro leaves cooked in coconut milk. Wash it down with calamansi, a drink made with the miniature limes celebrated in the Philippines.

Three small metal tables and six chairs in front of the restaurant.
Tradisyon is located on a busy stretch of Hell’s Kitchen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Jollibee

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Founded in the Philippines, this fast food chain holds an element of nostalgia for many. Jollibee’s signature chicken joy — fried chicken with a side of rice and lots of gravy — is akin to a McDonald’s happy meal for many Filipino children. There’s also Filipino-style sweet spaghetti, which is loaded with ground meat and sliced hotdogs. For dessert, Jollibee offers ice cream sundaes, but is better known for its peach mango fried pie. There are other locations in Woodside and in Jersey City’s Journal Square.

A Jollibee customer pours gravy on her Chickenjoy, a common use of the gravy.
A Jollibee customer pours gravy on her Chickenjoy, a common use of the gravy.
Rico Cruz/Eater NY

Renee's Kitchenette

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Renee’s has been serving a broad range of staple Filipino dishes — from crowd-pleasers like chicken adobo and sinigang na baboy (pork soup), to rarer delicacies like dinuguan (pork blood stew) and chicharon bulaklak (deep fried pork-ruffle-fat chips) — since 1992. But the restaurant’s specialty is the cuisine from the province of Pampanga, the birthplace of sisig and the breakfast bacon tocino. Aside from serving dishes a la carte, Renee’s has family-style specials for big groups, which are eaten kamayan feast-style — no utensils, just hands.

Amazing Grace Restaurant

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When Krystal’s Cafe closed in the autumn just before the pandemic hit, Mary Jane De Leon and Efren De Leon replaced it with Amazing Grace, boasting a similar, far-ranging Filipino menu. Breakfasts featuring eggs, fish, and pork products are a focus, and so are the brochettes that constitute a signature of Filipino barbecue. Other standards are also well-executed in a setting with a lunch counter ambiance, from oxtail kare kare to sizzling pork sisig to seafood served steamed, fried, stuffed, made into soup, or coconut-milk poached.

Two very red kebabs on a white plate with a row of cucumber slices.
Pork belly and pig ear kebabs.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Tito Rad's Grill

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Head to this spacious Woodside restaurant that’s been around since 2006 with Mario Albenio as owner and chef. It boasts particularly strong grilled options, like the tuna jaw or belly, along with skewers of chicken, pork, or sausage, all served alongside pickled vegetables. Most dishes are bargain-priced, and served with fluffy rice. Big groups, including lively birthday bashes, are common, so ice cream sundaes are another specialty.

After a popular run at the Queens Night Market, Lahi has made a name for itself with a brick-and-mortar in Elmhurst. Sisig tacos are popular but other dishes worth ordering include the arroz caldo, which is similar to congee with chicken a touch of calamansi to brighten up the comforting bowl of rice porridge.

Grill 21

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A pint-sized place near Stuy Town run by Henry and Marissa Beck, Grill 21 has an extensive menu that runs the gamut from seafood dishes to meat offered in various permutations, most of which are fried, in soups, or with thick sauces. Classic dishes include chicken adobo, awash in a soy and vinegar sauce, pork-filled lumpia spring rolls, and a series of platters with two entrees (like a beef and milkfish pairing).

Max's Restaurant

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Competing with the nearby Jollibee’s for chicken supremacy, Max’s Restaurant cooks up one of best rotisserie chickens in Jersey City. The chain restaurant has been a household name for this iconic dish since 1945. It’s also known for crispy pata (deep fried pig trotters here), and other favorites like kare-kare.

The exterior of a restaurant with a red sign that says “Max’s since 1945.”
Outside of Max’s in Jersey City.
Max’s.

Philippine Bread House

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Peruse a range of Filipino desserts, on the sweeter side and many starring ube, at this Jersey City favorite. Try some ensaymadas, buttery buns topped with shredded cheese and filled with coconut or ube; or pan de sal, a sweet bread roll sold as is or stuffed with a pork or coconut filling. Larger, shareable treats include vibrant, grape-hued ube cake and sapin-sapin, a coconut and glutinous rice confection. For something savory, there’s a self-serve buffet. Elma Santander founded Philippine Bread House in 1979, making it the oldest Filipino eatery in Jersey City.

Steam table with rectangular pots of various colorful dishes, brown, green, and yellow.
The steam table at Philippine Bread House.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Mama Fina’s

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An offshoot of an Elmwood Park, New Jersey, restaurant of the same name, Mama Fina’s has a casual counter service set-up. Chef and co-founder Aming Sta Maria and her husband Samuel Sta Maria run both locations, where the focus is on sisig served sizzling on a cast iron platter in multiple iterations (pork, chicken, squid, tuna, and milkfish). Other highlights include breakfast plates like longsilog — a sweet and spicy sausage — served alongside fried eggs, garlic fried rice, and a tomato and onion salad.

Sizzling sisig comes in a cast iron skillet.
Sizzling sisig comes in a cast iron skillet.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Pig and Khao

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This Southeast Asian option on the Lower East Side serves twists on traditional Filipino cuisine, in addition to Vietnamese and Thai recipes. On the Filipino side, there are dishes such as pork belly adobo, spiced up with Sichuan peppercorns and paired with a poached egg. Open since fall 2012 by Top Chef contestant Leah Cohen, Pig and Khao nabbed a two-star New York Times review the following year.

Daniel vet Armando Litiatco opened up this cheery Carroll Gardens spot in 2016, the name of which is an acronym of “fresh off the boat.” The menu spans all manner of surf and turf, like peel-and-eat shrimp basted in 7-Up, butter, and garlic; pork sisig; and pork or chicken barbecue skewers, cooked in a sweet marinade and served with banana ketchup for dipping. The zippy aqua facade ushers diners into a compact but attractive space, with wicker chairs and mismatched china.

Purple Yam

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Former Cendrillon chef Romy Dorotan along with wife and co-owner Amy Besa opened this charming Ditmas Park restaurant in 2012, focusing on brighter and lighter Philippine fare with the occasional Korean flourish. Dorotan turns out the classics like lumpia Shanghai — the Philippine’s take on Chinese egg rolls — every bit as deliciously greasy as you would like, and chicken adobo, said to be the national dish. But the restaurant’s lighter, more vegetable-driven dishes are represented by grilled eggplant kulawo, a salad accented with green mango and presented sprawled out engagingly on the plate, like a sunbather with a purple head.

An eggplant top visible on the upper right, with the body covered with shredded fruits and vegetables.
Grilled eggplant kulawo.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Phil-Am Kusina

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This Staten Island restaurant in the Rosebank neighborhood under chef Emanuel Imperial offers a mix of modern dishes — such as adobo chicken wings and sisig tacos, featuring crispy shells filled with minced chicken — alongside more traditional fare like kaldereta, a goat stew (also offered with beef), and crispy pata, a deep-fried pig knuckle. Spring-roll-like lumpia are served either fried, as is most common, or fresh with steamed skins.

Bilao

A black metal platter with minced pork parts and skin, plus a raw egg cracked on top.
Sizzling sisig at Bilao.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Bilao, meaning “basket” in Tagalog, was one of those miracle COVID-19 restaurants that was born in the midst of the pandemic. The menu consists of greatest hits of the cuisine via chef Boji Asuncion, with breakfast, lunch, and dinner offered. Favorites included a fish congee called goto, kare kare (an oxtail stew thickened with peanut butter and bobbing with green beans), and a sizzling sisig incorporating hog ear, jowls, and liver.

A black metal platter with minced pork parts and skin, plus a raw egg cracked on top.
Sizzling sisig at Bilao.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Tradisyon

Three small metal tables and six chairs in front of the restaurant.
Tradisyon is located on a busy stretch of Hell’s Kitchen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Until the 1980s, the Port Authority and surrounding vicinity was a haven for small Philippine turo-turo (“point-point”) joints, or steam table cafes. So the location of Tradisyon in Hell’s Kitchen seems perfect. It presents Filipino food in fast-casual bowls via chefs Anton Dayrit and Bianca Vicente (the owner is Joey Chanco). Recommended dishes include a pork adobo with a boiled egg, and a vegetarian version of laing — taro leaves cooked in coconut milk. Wash it down with calamansi, a drink made with the miniature limes celebrated in the Philippines.

Three small metal tables and six chairs in front of the restaurant.
Tradisyon is located on a busy stretch of Hell’s Kitchen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Jollibee

A Jollibee customer pours gravy on her Chickenjoy, a common use of the gravy.
A Jollibee customer pours gravy on her Chickenjoy, a common use of the gravy.
Rico Cruz/Eater NY

Founded in the Philippines, this fast food chain holds an element of nostalgia for many. Jollibee’s signature chicken joy — fried chicken with a side of rice and lots of gravy — is akin to a McDonald’s happy meal for many Filipino children. There’s also Filipino-style sweet spaghetti, which is loaded with ground meat and sliced hotdogs. For dessert, Jollibee offers ice cream sundaes, but is better known for its peach mango fried pie. There are other locations in Woodside and in Jersey City’s Journal Square.

A Jollibee customer pours gravy on her Chickenjoy, a common use of the gravy.
A Jollibee customer pours gravy on her Chickenjoy, a common use of the gravy.
Rico Cruz/Eater NY

Renee's Kitchenette

Renee’s has been serving a broad range of staple Filipino dishes — from crowd-pleasers like chicken adobo and sinigang na baboy (pork soup), to rarer delicacies like dinuguan (pork blood stew) and chicharon bulaklak (deep fried pork-ruffle-fat chips) — since 1992. But the restaurant’s specialty is the cuisine from the province of Pampanga, the birthplace of sisig and the breakfast bacon tocino. Aside from serving dishes a la carte, Renee’s has family-style specials for big groups, which are eaten kamayan feast-style — no utensils, just hands.

Amazing Grace Restaurant

Two very red kebabs on a white plate with a row of cucumber slices.
Pork belly and pig ear kebabs.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

When Krystal’s Cafe closed in the autumn just before the pandemic hit, Mary Jane De Leon and Efren De Leon replaced it with Amazing Grace, boasting a similar, far-ranging Filipino menu. Breakfasts featuring eggs, fish, and pork products are a focus, and so are the brochettes that constitute a signature of Filipino barbecue. Other standards are also well-executed in a setting with a lunch counter ambiance, from oxtail kare kare to sizzling pork sisig to seafood served steamed, fried, stuffed, made into soup, or coconut-milk poached.

Two very red kebabs on a white plate with a row of cucumber slices.
Pork belly and pig ear kebabs.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Tito Rad's Grill

Head to this spacious Woodside restaurant that’s been around since 2006 with Mario Albenio as owner and chef. It boasts particularly strong grilled options, like the tuna jaw or belly, along with skewers of chicken, pork, or sausage, all served alongside pickled vegetables. Most dishes are bargain-priced, and served with fluffy rice. Big groups, including lively birthday bashes, are common, so ice cream sundaes are another specialty.

Lahi

After a popular run at the Queens Night Market, Lahi has made a name for itself with a brick-and-mortar in Elmhurst. Sisig tacos are popular but other dishes worth ordering include the arroz caldo, which is similar to congee with chicken a touch of calamansi to brighten up the comforting bowl of rice porridge.

Grill 21

A pint-sized place near Stuy Town run by Henry and Marissa Beck, Grill 21 has an extensive menu that runs the gamut from seafood dishes to meat offered in various permutations, most of which are fried, in soups, or with thick sauces. Classic dishes include chicken adobo, awash in a soy and vinegar sauce, pork-filled lumpia spring rolls, and a series of platters with two entrees (like a beef and milkfish pairing).

Max's Restaurant

The exterior of a restaurant with a red sign that says “Max’s since 1945.”
Outside of Max’s in Jersey City.
Max’s.

Competing with the nearby Jollibee’s for chicken supremacy, Max’s Restaurant cooks up one of best rotisserie chickens in Jersey City. The chain restaurant has been a household name for this iconic dish since 1945. It’s also known for crispy pata (deep fried pig trotters here), and other favorites like kare-kare.

The exterior of a restaurant with a red sign that says “Max’s since 1945.”
Outside of Max’s in Jersey City.
Max’s.

Philippine Bread House

Steam table with rectangular pots of various colorful dishes, brown, green, and yellow.
The steam table at Philippine Bread House.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Peruse a range of Filipino desserts, on the sweeter side and many starring ube, at this Jersey City favorite. Try some ensaymadas, buttery buns topped with shredded cheese and filled with coconut or ube; or pan de sal, a sweet bread roll sold as is or stuffed with a pork or coconut filling. Larger, shareable treats include vibrant, grape-hued ube cake and sapin-sapin, a coconut and glutinous rice confection. For something savory, there’s a self-serve buffet. Elma Santander founded Philippine Bread House in 1979, making it the oldest Filipino eatery in Jersey City.

Steam table with rectangular pots of various colorful dishes, brown, green, and yellow.
The steam table at Philippine Bread House.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Mama Fina’s

Sizzling sisig comes in a cast iron skillet.
Sizzling sisig comes in a cast iron skillet.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

An offshoot of an Elmwood Park, New Jersey, restaurant of the same name, Mama Fina’s has a casual counter service set-up. Chef and co-founder Aming Sta Maria and her husband Samuel Sta Maria run both locations, where the focus is on sisig served sizzling on a cast iron platter in multiple iterations (pork, chicken, squid, tuna, and milkfish). Other highlights include breakfast plates like longsilog — a sweet and spicy sausage — served alongside fried eggs, garlic fried rice, and a tomato and onion salad.

Sizzling sisig comes in a cast iron skillet.
Sizzling sisig comes in a cast iron skillet.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Pig and Khao

This Southeast Asian option on the Lower East Side serves twists on traditional Filipino cuisine, in addition to Vietnamese and Thai recipes. On the Filipino side, there are dishes such as pork belly adobo, spiced up with Sichuan peppercorns and paired with a poached egg. Open since fall 2012 by Top Chef contestant Leah Cohen, Pig and Khao nabbed a two-star New York Times review the following year.

F.O.B.

Daniel vet Armando Litiatco opened up this cheery Carroll Gardens spot in 2016, the name of which is an acronym of “fresh off the boat.” The menu spans all manner of surf and turf, like peel-and-eat shrimp basted in 7-Up, butter, and garlic; pork sisig; and pork or chicken barbecue skewers, cooked in a sweet marinade and served with banana ketchup for dipping. The zippy aqua facade ushers diners into a compact but attractive space, with wicker chairs and mismatched china.

Purple Yam

An eggplant top visible on the upper right, with the body covered with shredded fruits and vegetables.
Grilled eggplant kulawo.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Former Cendrillon chef Romy Dorotan along with wife and co-owner Amy Besa opened this charming Ditmas Park restaurant in 2012, focusing on brighter and lighter Philippine fare with the occasional Korean flourish. Dorotan turns out the classics like lumpia Shanghai — the Philippine’s take on Chinese egg rolls — every bit as deliciously greasy as you would like, and chicken adobo, said to be the national dish. But the restaurant’s lighter, more vegetable-driven dishes are represented by grilled eggplant kulawo, a salad accented with green mango and presented sprawled out engagingly on the plate, like a sunbather with a purple head.

An eggplant top visible on the upper right, with the body covered with shredded fruits and vegetables.
Grilled eggplant kulawo.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Phil-Am Kusina

This Staten Island restaurant in the Rosebank neighborhood under chef Emanuel Imperial offers a mix of modern dishes — such as adobo chicken wings and sisig tacos, featuring crispy shells filled with minced chicken — alongside more traditional fare like kaldereta, a goat stew (also offered with beef), and crispy pata, a deep-fried pig knuckle. Spring-roll-like lumpia are served either fried, as is most common, or fresh with steamed skins.

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